US pork producer Smithfield Foods has reported second-quarter net income of US$4.1m, compared with $60.5m for the same period last year.

The company, which sells around 12 million hogs a year, said the 93% plummet in earnings was due to lower hog prices, but said it expected hog prices to turn profitable early next year.

Total sales were $1.96bn, up from $1.67bn in the prior quarter.

Smithfield said that hog prices were so low due to an abundance of meat, caused by increased US meat production, a slowdown in beef exports to Japan due to BSE there, and Russia’s temporary ban on chicken imports earlier this year.